Serves 6 –7
Takes 45 minutes + 2 hours soaking time + 8 hours steaming time
For the soaked fruit:
- 150g (5oz) raisins
- 150g (5oz) currants
- 150g (5oz) candied mixed peel
- 1 small cooking apple, such as Bramley, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp brandy or sherry
For the pudding batter:
- 75g (⅓ cup) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 150g (¾ cup) light muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 90g (⅔ cup) gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 slices of gluten-free bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs
For the brandy butter:
- 125g (generous ½ cup) butter, softened
- 200g (scant 1½ cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
- Grated zest of ½ orange
- 4 tbsp brandy, plus an extra 4 tbsp to serve
- Place the raisins, currants, mixed peel and apple in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, the brandy or sherry and leave to soak for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- Grease a 1.4l (3 pint) pudding basin and line the base with non-stick baking parchment. If your pudding basin doesn’t have a lid, create one by cutting a circle of foil and baking parchment that’s roughly 4cm (1½in) larger than the basin’s diameter. Place both circles on top of one another (foil on top) and fold a pleat down the middle. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one by one, mixing in between each addition. Add the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, nutmeg and breadcrumbs, and mix until well combined. Lastly, mix in all the soaked fruit, plus any soaking liquid.
- Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Compact it down and ensure it is flat on top. Secure the lid or use string to secure your parchment and foil in place. If your pudding basin has a lid, I’d suggest wrapping the whole thing in foil after popping it on, just to be safe. Place in a large saucepan and add boiling water to come halfway up the basin. Place the lid on the pan, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 hours, keeping an eye on it and topping up the water when needed.
- Remove the pudding basin from the water, take off the lid and allow to cool completely in the basin. Cover and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas day.
- On Christmas day, put the lid back on your pudding basin; if you made your own, you’ll need to create a new one. Place in the large saucepan again and add boiling water to come halfway up the pudding basin. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, whip up your brandy butter. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand whisk) and mix on a medium speed for 5 minutes until pale. Add the icing sugar and mix until incorporated, then add your orange zest and brandy and mix once more. Transfer to a serving dish and keep refrigerated until needed.
- To serve, turn out your Christmas pud onto a lipped serving dish. Warm up the extra brandy in a small saucepan (don’t let it boil) and then pour it over the hot Christmas pudding. Carefully set light to it and serve as soon as the flames have died down, with brandy butter.
This is an edited extract from How To Bake Anything Gluten Free by Becky Excell published by Quadrille Books. RRP $39.99 in AU and $45 in NZ.